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E.g., 09/04/2015
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  • News

    Volcanic activity convicted in Permian extinction

    The biggest catastrophe in the history of life on Earth resulted from one of the most titanic volcanic outpourings on record, new research concludes.

    At the close of the Permian period around 252 million years ago, more than 90 percent of all marine species and roughly 75 percent of all land species vanished. New high-precision analysis of ancient lavas determines this extinction...

    08/28/2015 - 14:00 Earth, Paleontology
  • News

    Hurricane’s tiny earthquakes could help forecasters

    As Sandy raged, the ground trembled.

    Rumbles picked up by seismometers during Hurricane Sandy’s trip up the U.S. East Coast in 2012 originated from the storm’s eye, seismologists report in a paper to be published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Letters: Solid Earth. Listening for these rumbles...

    08/25/2015 - 08:00 Climate, Earth, Oceans
  • Introducing

    Millions of dollars’ worth of gold and silver found beneath volcanoes

    There’s gold in them thar volcanoes. Geoscientists have uncovered a mother lode of gold- and silver-enriched water in reservoirs inside a series of New Zealand volcanoes.

    A shallow glob of magma heats water in the Taupo Volcanic Zone from below. The scalding water breaks down nearby rock and becomes loaded with dissolved metals such as gold and silver.

    While subsurface rocks...

    08/21/2015 - 12:03 Earth
  • News

    Nepal quake’s biggest shakes relatively spread out

    The April 25 Nepal earthquake killed more than 8,000 people and caused several billion dollars in damage, but new research suggests the toll could have been a lot worse.

    GPS readings taken during the quake indicate that most of the tremors vibrated through the ground as long shakes rather than quick pulses. That largely spared the low-lying buildings that make up much of Nepal’s capital...

    08/06/2015 - 14:00 Earth
  • News

    Desert dig uncovers caches of missing CO2

    The wet undersides of deserts may stash as much as a trillion metric tons of climate-altering carbon, more than stored in all land-based plants, new research suggests.

    Human activities such as burning fossil fuels spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Scientists, however, can’t account for where as much as 30 percent of this CO2 ends up.

    “We’ve found a carbon sink in...

    08/03/2015 - 06:00 Climate, Earth, Agriculture
  • Letters to the Editor

    Bringing mammoths back, life on early Earth and more reader feedback

    Inside the eye

    A new technology called optogenetics may help restore sight for some blind people. In “Seeing the light” (SN: 5/30/15, p. 22), Tina...

    07/15/2015 - 11:04 Earth, Genetics, Cells
  • Mystery Solved

    Natural concrete keeps lid on Italian volcano

    Just west of Naples, Italy, the ground swells and strains around the Campi Flegrei caldera, mythical home of the Roman fire god Vulcan. The volcanic region’s most recent rise came between 1982 and 1984 when the ground rose around 2 meters. Officials evacuated nearly 40,000 people from the nearby town of Pozzuoli in fear of an eruption. It never came.

    At the time, Tiziana Vanorio was a...

    07/09/2015 - 14:00 Earth
  • Science Ticker

    Leap second helps us with the reality of time

    Not enough time in your day?

    Today, everyone gets an extra second. The Earth’s rotation has slowed down enough to warrant a leap second at the end of June 30. For that second, the official time will be 11:59:60 p.m.

    Leap seconds ...

    06/30/2015 - 06:00 Earth, Technology
  • News

    Super-Earths are not a good place for plate tectonics

    Plate tectonics doesn’t rumple the surfaces of Earth’s supersized cousins, new research suggests.

    Simulating the extreme pressures inside giant exoplanets called super-Earths, researchers discovered that these planets probably have thick, stagnant outer shells and sluggish internal circulation. Those properties make the existence of fragmented jigsaw puzzles of sliding and shifting...

    06/26/2015 - 14:12 Exoplanets, Planetary Science, Earth
  • News

    Fast-spreading crack threatens giant Antarctic ice shelf

    Scientists have spotted the mortal wound that could prompt the collapse of Antarctica’s fourth-largest ice shelf.

    Satellite images reveal that a crack in Larsen C rapidly extended tens of kilometers across the ice shelf in 2014. If the crack reaches the ice shelf’s edge, it could snap off a Delaware-sized area of ice, researchers...

    06/19/2015 - 15:20 Earth, Climate